Peter Ogudoro


It is advisable you read this article to the end and take the helpful steps prescribed in it if you are committed to resolving your university access problem.The digital books that deal with the details of career management and personal effectiveness are available at Amazon.

Did you know that for every 20 candidates who sit for JAMB Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) about 18 “fail”? By this I mean that this number is not offered admission. The reason for this is the very limited spaces in tertiary institutions in Nigeria. The word fail is in quotes here because JAMB does not predetermine the pass mark for admission into the programmes candidates vie for. What is predetermined is the number of candidates who will be offered admission to the various programmes available. That number is an input made by the authorities of tertiary institutions into the admission exercise based on the facilities and manpower at their disposal.

A candidate’s success or failure invariably depends on the performance of other candidates for the course the candidate desires to study. Candidates for JAMB exams in effect play a zero-sum game. This means that a candidate secures admission into a tertiary institution to the disadvantage of many other candidates who sat for the same course, some of whom could be the candidate’s brothers and sisters. In other words, candidates for JAMB exams cannot by studying hard increase the number of successful candidates for such exams. What they can achieve by so doing is to raise the cut-off point for the relevant course and thereby increase the propensity for candidates to have a sense of frustration.

The situation will get worse because our secondary schools are producing more and more candidates for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) with every passing year. About 1.7 million candidates registered for the 2017 UTME. Annual increase in candidature has reached over 200,000 meaning that the number of candidates writing the exam will reach 2 million by the year 2018. The number will continue to rise because of our high population growth rate. Nigerian governments lack the human and financial resources to establish well equipped universities at the rate that will match the countries population growth rate.

This is a sad state of affairs indeed. The reality is that most people who seek higher education through JAMB won’t get it unless they cure themselves of their prejudice and ignorance and allow reason and realism to lead them to their destination early. The essence of higher education for a typical Nigerian is to get a “meal ticket”, and for the public spirited, get prepared for responsible citizenship.

Professional bodies in Nigeria and overseas offer incredible opportunities for early break-through in life. Most professional bodies in Nigeria have the authority of the Federal Government to regulate the practice of their professions. In other words, unless you obtain a license from them, normally through passing the exams they conduct, they will consider you an intruder to their profession while employers look at you as a quack no matter the number of academic degrees you have.

This explains why many university graduates write their exams and obtain their license before they can solve the problem of unemployment/underemployment.

The interesting thing, however, is that most professional bodies world-wide accept Senior School Certificate (former GCE O’ Level) as adequate academic qualification to sit for the exams they conduct. Field investigations have revealed that a studious student member of a professional body successfully completes a professional programme within three years. Nigerian and foreign universities accept the final certificates awarded by professional bodies for admission into postgraduate programmes. You can in fact complete the exams of one of the professional bodies in one year. You can use the Professional Diploma you will obtain to secure admission into three hundred level of the Bachelor’s Degree Programme in Mass Communication/Management Science. In two years, you conclude your degree programme and move on in life while most of your mates are still writing UTME. Click here to see details.

It is, therefore, possible for a hardworking person to obtain master’s degree within four years of finishing secondary education and subsequently enroll for a PhD programme if the person is interested in academics to that extent.

Professional bodies exist in virtually all fields of human endeavour (including engineering) and offer the opportunities that are being presented to you here. It is however, important that you seek and receive the services of a professional career counsellor with a printed copy of this article before you choose the professional body you have to register with. The author of this article is a career strategist who trained at the Graduate Institute of International Development and Applied Economics of the University of Reading, England and can be of help. He holds a PhD in Education with emphasis on Career Management and can offer you free career counselling service if you call him on +234(0)8023249654. This is part of a youth empowerment programme he has embarked upon in Nigeria (click here for his full profile). The opinions of your parents, friends and other relations on the issues raised here especially with respect to the profession you should choose may be based on sentiments that can jeopardize your future. Resist their influence, though politely and talk with a (trained) professional career counsellor.

The professional counsellor will ensure that you are assisted to train for a profession that matches your intelligence quotient, aptitude,, interest, experience, ambition, responsibilities, financial situation and other peculiar circumstances. When you choose a profession you do not have a natural flair for, the tendency is for you to fail the exams you write in that area and then claim that professional exams are difficult to pass.

Every profession is good provided you have what it takes to practice it better than others. It was Emerson who said that if a man can write a better book, preach a better sermon or make a better mousetrap than his neighbours, though he builds his house in the wood, the world won’t mind making a beaten path to his door. If you choose to take advantage of the opportunity being presented to you here, you will pleasantly realize that your studies won’t be affected by the incessant closure of tertiary institutions which forces some Nigerians to spend as many as eight years studying for a first degree.

If you take the new approach (which in fact is not new for it has been available for long), you will obtain a PhD within that period.

It is important you know that the grades you make in a professional exam reflect the effort you put in. The examiner does not know you for your identity is shielded from him to guarantee objective assessment and maintenance of standards. Your performance does not, therefore depend on whether or not you have any link with him. Besides, your ability and circumstance dictate the pace at which you progress in your studies. The gifted student can in fact qualify for admission into a post graduate programme within one year. That sounds incredible but has been achieved by many.

The beauty of the professional programmes that are being presented here is that for every part you complete, you get a statement of result which you can use to obtain admission into other educational institutions or secure a well paying job. If for any reason (e.g. dwindling financial fortune) you miss a year or more, you can continue from where you stopped when your circumstances improve.

The institution you seek to enroll in through UTME does not guarantee you this.

Another benefit some professional bodies offer is that if you do not possess the full academic requirement for the course you want to study, they permit you to undergo a remedial programme before entering the main programme which they assist you to pass by providing you with relevant literature and other services within available resources. It has to be emphasized that a relevant professional body regulates the department where the course you want to study is offered in a tertiary institution and can get it closed down when they are convinced that standards have been compromised. The Federal Government has given the body authority to do this via the law setting it up.

Most professional bodies and employers consider the terminal certificates tertiary institutions award (e.g. First Degree, HND and NCE) as inferior to the graduate membership certificate they award to those who pass final exams of their programmes.

This explains why many graduates of tertiary institutions (universities, polytechnics and colleges of education) write and pass professional exams before they secure well paying, and prestigious jobs. People who are unhappy about employer’s preference for applicants with professional training received through preparation for success in a professional exam withdraw “their case” after they have undergone the training themselves and discovered how it is positively different from what is obtainable in tertiary institutions especially now that it is obvious that quality is being compromised in such institutions in the face of set backs like:

(a)             Examination malpractices, which professional bodies do not condone;

(b)            Limited time for studies in the face of prolonged industrial actions (strikes) which the professional bodies hedge against by setting and maintaining high standards and allowing you to qualify for their license at your own pace meaning that no one gets a license until the person has attained the acceptable level of competence and the notorious “Nigerian factor” does not affect this.

(c)             Poor library facilities which professional bodies check via publication of well researched articles in journals which they provide their members regularly to keep them abreast of the relevant dynamics of the socio-economic, political and technological horizons.

(d)            Rising cost of tuition, and educational materials which students are finding difficult to cope with. Professional bodies operate their programme in a way that you can foot the bill for your studies relatively conveniently while gathering work experience which employers place so much emphasis on during recruitment.

(e)           The activities of cults, which jeopardize academic excellence, and pose security risk to both lives and property on campuses. The entire society takes the blame for this sad state of affairs, not just the cult members, for we by our actions, and utterances promote materialism and the survival of the fittest, doing very little to secure the future of youths who should be leaders tomorrow. Those who study for professional exams do not have to contend with the tension on campuses arising from this problem.

(f)              Poor infrastructure especially as it affects lecture rooms and hostels (accommodation). As many as 16 students live in a hostel room in some Nigerian universities now, while, as many as 1000 students can “listen” to a lecture in the same classroom with many students standing. You do not face this problem when you choose to toe the route you have the good fortune to learn from this article.

(g)             Manpower inadequacy manifesting in lecturers going to class ill-prepared apart from the average lecturer’s inadequate practical experience which amounts to a blind man leading other blind men. The result is the pitiable state of affairs now -graduates, who one illiterate landlord equated with holders of first school leaving certificate of ‘his time’. The Guardian in an editorial some time ago expressed the fear that “…we are in the process of producing absent-minded graduates”. The high standards of professional examination which are not compromised ensure that those who are awarded professional certificates offer superb performance on the job which accounts for why employers make them heads where those with only academic certificates serve as subordinates, learning and taking instructions from the professional. This author has comparative knowledge of both systems (conventional tertiary institutions and professional bodies) because he has studied in both of them and has elected to help you with the inevitable conclusion that on a scale, professionalism scores more points. You do not lose if you can avail yourself of what is available in both systems. He has done that himself, though not through UTME. That is why at a young age, he has traversed fields of learning that include Human Resources Management, Political Science, Guidance and Counseling, Public Relations, Marketing, Advertising, Communication, Innovation, Development, Broadcasting and Computer Applications; doing most of his post secondary studies so far while working. The bills for his studies have been settled with money that came from remunerative jobs he has done in NEPA, NECENT Management Consultants, Student PYE Ltd., Chart Tutors and Ogudoro Leadership Trainers and Management Consultants where he is currently servicing as the Chief Executive Officer. His first port of call was the Graduate Membership Exams of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria (CIPM) for his own talents lie in Manpower Development and Strategic Management, which the exams and training programmes he has undergone have nurtured.

No matter what you ultimately want to become, the wonderful opportunity available here will be a good place to begin your journey to professionalism and fulfilling career. Click on it now for details.

Share this information with all your friends and relations. One author said that what you share multiples while that which you withhold diminishes. Ngugi Wa Thiongo in his WEEP NOT CHILD said through Mwihaki, one of the dramatis personae that “our duty to our people is our biggest responsibility as grown men and women”. Njiroge, another character in the book asked the question: “Is it not childish to remain in a hole when you can take yourself out?” It is the same question I ask you. I pray God to grant you the wisdom to answer it correctly. Click here to learn more.


Peter Ogudoro,PhD is the world's leading Researcher on how to forge a synergy between professional bodies and the academia to give young people in the developing world greater access to higher education.